I owe Maryelizabeth Hart a big thank you, because she arranged for me to appear at Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego.
So I walk in the door and the first thing I see is:
That's Ben, who helps run the store, and oh, there are some books on the wall.
Mysterious Galaxy has an interesting event system. They invite two authors at a time to do a joint talk-cum-Q&A. My partner in crime was PL Gaus, who writes murder mysteries set among the Amish community. Not a hotbed of homicidal maniacs, one might think, but it's a fascinating vehicle to explore the culture. We discovered two things in common: we're both published in Australia by Penguin, and we both come from science backgrounds with nary an English qualification between us. Other than that we couldn't be more different. Mr Gaus wears immaculate suits and speaks very deliberately. I wear the leather jacket and my speech is anything but deliberate. The audience was small but interested, including a couple who wandered into the store halfway through and stayed to listen.
One couple had come because they'd read the review of Pericles Commission. Afterwards they bought a copy. It's an interesting reflection on the power of reviews. Review sections seem to be disappearing from newspapers, but it seems to me there's a real desire for informed reviews.
These two below are the best tour guides any debut author could have. In the middle is our very own LT Host. Her avatar usually shows her kissing a giraffe, but a only few weeks ago she upgraded to a husband. That's Scott on the left. LT wins particular credit for getting us to the book talk in time, in the face of horrendous traffic.
The book stack is what they had left after preorders and books sold on the night. I think they might be down to ten now.